Five strengths-related strategies to use in hiring instead of the StrengthsFinder assessment



If I were recruiting for sales, could I use StrengthsFinder as a source to be sure a possible candidate would be a good fit?

The short answer:

I don’t recommend using the StrengthsFinder assessment formally for hiring. But I do recommend using the StrengthsFinder strengths as part of the hiring process.

What to do instead of asking candidates to complete the StrengthsFinder assessment:

1. Hire the person first
Would you rather hire a bad candidate that has the WOO StrengthsFinder theme (if that’s what you want on your team) or a great candidate that doesn’t? If you weed out everyone who doesn’t have the strength you’re looking for you may miss out on the ideal candidate.

2. Find out if the person actually uses the strength
A StrengthsFinder strength only works if it’s put into action effectively. You have no idea if a person is using that strength, and how they’re using that strength, until the interview process.

3. Don’t trust the planned, trust the spontaneous
The strengths part of recruiting and hiring is best done in an interview. That’s when you can see how they spontaneously answer questions. Imagine taking an assessment trying to second-guess what you imagine a potential employer is looking for and tweaking your answers so you get the results you hope. That’s not good data. But ask someone about an example of when they successfully sold and you’ll find out where their strengths are. Or ask open-ended questions and see what direction they head.

4. Don’t be tempted to hire someone like you
Don’t do it, unless you make that choice consciously. Usually a team has a culture, a company has a culture and that’s often reflected in the person in charge. Hire someone similar to the person in charge and everyone will get along easily – they’ll think, “this person is like me” – but there’ll be blind spots. Blind spots aren’t helpful.

5. Don’t be tempted to hire for blind spots on the team
Wait, didn’t I just say that’s good? It can be, but not if those strengths are simply not needed in that role. And not if it’s the reason you pass up a great candidate that has similar strengths as you in favor of a mediocre or bad candidate that doesn’t.

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